The Cruelty of Sin

Rod Shimabukuro


Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. [18]But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:17-18


12000 men were sent out to war against the Midianites - 1000 from each tribe. 12,000 men routed the Midianites, their land and possessed their women, children and livestock. Yet Mose was angry because the warriors returned with the women and children.

Without context to v17-18 above, you would gather that God is cruel, unjust and an extreme chauvinist. Killing baby boys, the women who were used sexually - seems demonic, selfish, egocentric and sexist. And what a steal...808,000 sheep, cattle and donkeys! That’s a lot of animals! Not to mention 16750 shekels given all to the army - an estimated 600 pounds of gold.

There were 32000 women left alive along with all the gold and silver. There must have been quite a bloodbath considering that ALL the Midianite men, including baby boys and sexually active women were all killed!

The broader context is what God promised HIs kids, to possess land. The Midianites opposed God. Their women lured Israelite men in the past.

There’s a cruelty of sin, that God oversees, knows and judges. He is forgiving and just. I don’t fully understand HIs ways. I know He’s not cruel - but the penalty of sin is!


My take away is something that is progressively stirring and being downloaded in my heart. Number one - I don’t fully understand God, but I’m thankful that He reveals His love to me, to be able to trust Him. He is not unjust, but just.

It’s evident in my life, aligned with Scriptures like Nu 31 - that innocent people suffer a a result of others sin. I’ve seen this at work in my own home. My sin has caused grief and repercussions in my wife and children’s lives. Makes me sick thinking about it! O God of Grace - thank you for working in them the gift of forgiving me!


Dear God -
I’m stumped in my own inability to understand You fully. Yet even this limited understanding I receive as Your gift of grace. I don’t need to understand Everything about You and You purposes! I love You and thank you for Your very extending grace in my life.

Devotions for March 02

Numbers 30,31
Mark 9

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